Following a whopping 83-yard punt, Notre Dame’s offense was pinned in its own end zone. A quick pass from Thomas Lehman to Christian Rodriguez earned a little room, and the Saints appeared to be driving.
But that’s when Chaparral’s Michael Rice cut to the inside of the route and intercepted a pass comfortably jogging into the end zone.
For the next 11 minutes Lehman went 1-for-11 with one more interception, and the Firebirds stormed past Notre Dame, 42-0.
“We just knew that they would have to get rid of the football quick, and then because of that we knew that we could come up and press them a little bit,” Chaparral coach David Huffine said. “It’s not like we were trying to intercept footballs, we were just trying to make sure that we had an opportunity to cover on short.”
Chandler Fox, who found out that he was going to start Friday morning, supported the Firebirds with a 7-for-12 performance with three touchdowns and one interception.
He was joined by wide receiver Tyler Whiley, who added a touchdown after a direct snap and sprinted, untouched 54 yards for the 21-0 lead.
“We were just trying to switch it up a little bit and show what we could do,” Whiley said. “We have a lot of offense out on the field.”
Fox’s most trusted target was Israel Simpson, who caught two touchdowns off of fade passes. The first came as Whiley captained a 59-yard drive that culminated with Simpson tucking one foot inside the end zone before being tackled out of bounds.
“Chandler Fox was phenomenal, truly phenomenal,” Huffine said, later adding. “I couldn’t be more proud of him. Here was a senior kid who really had the opportunity and he took advantage of it.”
Fox and Whiley gave the Firebirds (5-1) their first lead when Fox lobbed a pass up for an open Whiley, who glided into the end zone just three minutes into the game.
On the other end of the ball, the Firebirds held the Saints (3-3) to a mere 17 yards rushing and only four first downs.
“There’s a lot of this season still left, this is obviously a very good football team, but we didn’t do enough offensively to keep ourselves in the game,” said Notre Dame coach Gary Gregory.
Chaparral 42, Notre Dame 0
First Downs: Chaparral 13, Notre Dame 4
Rushing: Chaparral 37-242,Notre Dame-20-18
Passing (comp.-att.-TD-INT): Chaparral 9-14, 144 yards 3 TD, 1 INT, Notre Dame 9-25, 92 yards-0 TD, 2 INT
Fumbles-lost: Chaparral 1-1 lost, Notre Dame 1-0
Penalties-yards: Chaparral 9-115,Notre Dame 2-20
Notre Dame 0 0 0 0 — 0
Chaparrral 14 14 14 0 — 42
C – Whiley 31 pass from Fox (Packal kick)
C – Rice 25 pass interception return (Packal kick)
C - Whiley 54 run (Packal kick)
C – Simpson 10 pass from Fox (Packal kick)
C – Castro 35 run (Packal kick)
C – Simpson 3 pass from Fox (Packal kick)